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Highs and lows of Sonic in the 2010s

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21 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

 

  • Sonic Legacy - Collecting EVERYTHING from the start, only in low-quality Black and White budget books, based on DC/Marvel's at the time budget black and white books.

 

Oh my goodness, that was a thing?

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Just now, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Yes, they were in black and white, and on incredibly low quality paper. They were budget books that collected about 20 or so issues ever book.

Geez, anything to make extra money eh?

Man, you're right, they had trades in excess. Though the Encyclopedia doesn't really qualify.

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Just now, DabigRG said:

Geez, anything to make extra money eh?

Man, you're right, they had trades in excess. Though the Encyclopedia doesn't really qualify.

The Encyclopedia was mentioned because it was another GN on top of the running GNs. It was a running total of all series, either done, or cancelled by the end. Hence why Mega Drive, Genesis and Art Book was still mentioned.

And on top of that, the Encyclopedia is still worth mentioning because it went through development hell, being originally planned since 2009, and only seeing release in 2012, only to become outdated less than a year later.

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What I found especially unfortunate about two of the delays/cancellations in particular is the fact that poor Tracey Yardley just barely missed out on getting his two Sonic Universe arcs collected.

The main SU graphic novel series pegged out right before “Babylon Rising” got its turn, and “Pirate Plunder Panic” was set to open the planned “Sonic Universe Sagas” series before the whole thing went down with the ship.

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7 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

The Encyclopedia was mentioned because it was another GN on top of the running GNs. It was a running total of all series, either done, or cancelled by the end. Hence why Mega Drive, Genesis and Art Book was still mentioned.

And on top of that, the Encyclopedia is still worth mentioning because it went through development hell, being originally planned since 2009, and only seeing release in 2012, only to become outdated less than a year later.

Oh, you meant nonsubscribed releases in general. Got it.

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The timing of the encyclopedia’s release was pretty amazing, all things considered. If its scheduled release was like a month or two later than it was, it probably would’ve been held from release altogether.

While one could look at the encyclopedia as becoming “outdated” less than a year later, I prefer to think of it from a different angle: the timing of its release basically made it a near-complete file on the original continuity as a whole, with it only being five (ten including Universe) issues out of date.

...

Also, the encyclopedia came out on my birthday. That was awesome.

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26 minutes ago, Big Panda said:

The timing of the encyclopedia’s release was pretty amazing, all things considered. If its scheduled release was like a month or two later than it was, it probably would’ve been held from release altogether.

While one could look at the encyclopedia as becoming “outdated” less than a year later, I prefer to think of it from a different angle: the timing of its release basically made it a near-complete file on the original continuity as a whole, with it only being five (ten including Universe) issues out of date.

...

Also, the encyclopedia came out on my birthday. That was awesome.

Yeah, I really appreciate it getting out just before the storm hit, even if it is a bittersweet complication that hints at things that didn't get picked up on.

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I’m really grateful for Sonic Mania Plus. A lot of people probably skipped Sonic Mania the first time around due to the series’ reputation, and then picked up Plus when it was clear this was a solid game. 
 

Also having Plus come out when it did really helped wash out the bad taste that Forces gave us. I know it was just an updated version of the same game, but regardless, it was nice to see the good game come back and take the spotlight from the bad one- and definitely good for the brand as well. 

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On 1/5/2020 at 4:33 AM, Whatever the WhoCares said:

What’s also remarkable is how this decade ended. We know so incredibly little about the next game. Usually when a piece of media is probably coming out within 16 months, the public at least has a vague idea of what it’s about. With Sonic, it’s just one giant question mark. What consoles will it be for? Who is directing it? What’s the plot synopsis? The suspense isn’t exactly killing me, but it is pretty exceptional at this point. 

Maybe a good thing, I think Sega regrets revealing Forces and Team Sonic racing too early. Marketing had barely anything to work with for these games, with how immensly little content there was to show off without spoiling the entire thing.

...Sigh, I do hope that doesn't mean the next Sonic game will be just as content starved. We had nothing but quick low budget games this decade.


Pft. yeah, I bet Rise of Lyric and Forces knocked us straight back to "keep making Sonic-only Back to the roots Games" ville.
Bleh. Well, if we'll at least get a Mania without the nostalgia angle I'm fine with it.
Still irritating Sonic Forces gets grouped with the Sonic adventure type games since it barely is one, it's Sonic Colors playing pretend it's one.

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2 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

Maybe a good thing, I think Sega regrets revealing Forces and Team Sonic racing too early. Marketing had barely anything to work with for these games, with how immensly little content there was to show off without spoiling the entire thing.

...Sigh, I do hope that doesn't mean the next Sonic game will be just as content starved. We had nothing but quick low budget games this decade.

An alternate theory is that they've started work on a 30th Anniversary game.  They could announce it before 2021, but if they don't want another wipeout anniversary game like 06, then it makes sense to spend extra time on it.  Of course, if a game is really good, they could afford to hype it in advance and it still wouldn't be a letdown.  Not that I expect this.

2 hours ago, Roger_van_der_weide said:

Pft. yeah, I bet Rise of Lyric and Forces knocked us straight back to "keep making Sonic-only Back to the roots Games" ville.
Bleh. Well, if we'll at least get a Mania without the nostalgia angle I'm fine with it.
Still irritating Sonic Forces gets grouped with the Sonic adventure type games since it barely is one, it's Sonic Colors playing pretend it's one.

If Sonic Mania isn't proof to them that they can go "Back to the roots" while still having other characters playable, they must be truly delusional.  Moreover, if we get a second game like that from the same developers, except with all new levels, I suspect SEGA's own attempts to cater to that crowd are going to look lamer and lamer by comparison.

I would say at this point, what is holding back Tails and Knuckles from being playable in Modern Sonic games is actually that Modern Sonic is usually Boost Sonic.  That means excessive time spent on making levels span out in length so they're not too short, without much time left for width or depth, and that means playing as characters meant for more vertical movement isn't going to feel meaningful.  In fact, in more than a few boost levels it would be outright hazardous.  Trying to go off the beaten path in a boost level can often send Sonic either into an invisible wall or off a cliff, so imagine the frustration trying to see what flight and gliding can do for such environments!

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16 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Sonic Legacy - Collecting EVERYTHING from the start, only in low-quality Black and White budget books, based on DC/Marvel's at the time budget black and white books.

I actually think the "Legacy" line was a nice idea, but it quickly became apparent that Archie had no clue how to actually capitalize on the series' back catalog. Black and white's whatever to me, I would have liked the original color plates being used (I hated the retouched colors of the Archives), but if they're budget releases meant to have a lot of content, I can sort of let that slide. The problem was they were little more than "black and white Archives" really, when they could have taken the opportunity to include the side content like the specials and mini-series to create a definitive reading order for the series since even the Archives truly lacked that.

Even though "the Saga Series" books weren't without their problems, which you mentioned, I still consider them to be as close to the best of what a collected release from Archie could be: correct, original trim size; original colors mostly intact except for small corrections; majority of content is ordered in a way that makes sense even though it means they aren't in release order and certain things are removed. Really bummed we didn't at least get the remainder of "Hedgehog Havoc," as that is still my favorite pre-reboot storyline, but I guess I should be glad I have the original issues...

I agree that Archie just oversaturated these re-releases. I sort of like to think some things would have been farther along if they weren't constantly trying to find new ways of pushing the same content, since by the time they actually did cut their losses and focus on reboot-only material the company was barely in a position to produce them anymore and were busy focusing on relaunching their own brand.

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24 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I need to figure out how PC gaming works so I can play these fan games you guys keep bringing up. That Robo Blast 2 thing looked neat.

Plus, it had a rain level and I love rain levels 

PC is great for game preservation too! I can play Sonic 1 till Forces, and even use emulators for the non PC games like Sonic Advance and Rush and Unleashed.

Best way to play Unleashed and Colors on PC is to get a Wii emulator. Wii emulators is so fast and zero glitches, unlike PS2 emulators.

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Speaking of Archie:
(spoilered because lengthy wall of text)

 

It was during this decade that Sega actively tried introducing the comics to other countries in different languages again, for the first time since the 90s.

Delcourt began releasing issues in French in 2012, with twice-yearly hardback books that collected two issues of content each, beginning from the Genesis saga. Panini also began a bi-monthly magazine in 2013 that collected the first two Sonic Universe arcs (two issues per edition), then ultimately canned it in favour of a bi-monthly comic that, like Delcourt, picked up from the Genesis saga. The way both publications continued from there differ considerably and are interesting in a number of ways.

For a start: it seems that when the people at Archie Comics called the Genesis saga a perfect jumping on point (paraphrasing), either Sega or one of the international licensors took that claim a little too literally. When I first learned that the Genesis saga was going to be published in French under the title “Le Origine”, my first assumption was that they were taking the Genesis saga and repurposing it into a general Sonic origin story or something. So we were all surprised when it ended up continuing, onto 230 and beyond! I’ll get back to Delcourt in a little while to explain why it’s essentially the worst handled of the two translations.

First let’s talk about the German release.

After the initial magazine releases containing the Universe issues, the bi-monthly comic collected every main series issue from 226, and up to 244, with only 242 (the “Olympic Trials” story and short “Endangered Species” prequel) being omitted. With the comic picking up at where it did, readers coming into it would naturally be confused about what’s going on. Luckily, the good people at Panini went above and beyond to make sure readers were not too confused. So you know those footnotes that appear during the story to direct readers to certain issues when a reference is made? In the German edition, the footnote boxes are left in, but if it’s referencing something from before Panini came along, German readers are given a quick one or two sentence explaining it.

On a few occasions, they even add footnotes where there weren’t before. This panel from issue 236 for example (taken from the English version):

F7-C6-CC2-A-2-C96-4-B15-B35-C-8-FA845694
This moment would have been the first time German readers had ever seen Scourge, since none of his previous appearances had been released. For this reason, Panini put in their own footnote to briefly explain who this random green hedgehog is supposed to be!

The footnotes get kind of hilarious at times. When filling in existing footnotes, the editors were never really sure what to say, usually leading to them just make really redundant comments. If, say, Eggman alludes to a major event that happened in the past that he caused, without actually saying it was his doing, the editors pops in to say “Eggman did it”! The absolute height of the footnotes’ unintentional hilarity comes during the “Endangered Species” arc (the first two chapters that made it out at least). One of the arcs most infamous aspects was how vaguely lines were worded to avoid directly naming characters and concepts that were under dispute. These vague wordings were translated pretty directly from what I could see (Albion is still the “Echidna homeland”, the recent events with Enerjak were still “the day of transit”, etc). Despite this, Panini had to go in and completely ruin that vagueness by outright explaining what characters are talking about!

Echidna teacher lady: “the day of transit was a thing that happened”

German Panini editor: “YA SEE THERE WAS THIS GUY CALLED ENERJAK, AND HE-”

157256.jpg?b64lines=IFNIVVQgVVVVVVVQLg==
 

The comic lasted for 9 issues before being cancelled. A tenth issue was slated for release, but never saw the light of day.

As odd as the whole experience was, Panini did a pretty alright job in handling the series distribution. It was definitely not as great as it could have been- the fact there was no companion series to cover the corresponding Sonic Universe issues is an especially egregious sin- but it was generally good for what it was.

...

The French version by Delcourt, however, was handled incredibly shoddily. They were released as hardcover books with two issues worth of content, which were released twice a year (roughly six months apart, making for so little progress in such a large space of time.

After the first two books finished up the Genesis saga, book 3 moved onto “Two Steps Back...” (230), “Lost in the Moment” (231), and the first 11 pages of “Dark Tidings” (232). The most notable thing here is that they didn’t bother to include any of the backup stories (in this case, the very plot-relevant Naugus story “Haunted”. Not that its relevance would matter in the long run...). Unlike Panini’s version, this book (and all further books) remove all existing footnotes, and make no effort whatsoever to explain what the hell is going on.

Book 4 gave us the remainder of “Dark Tidings” (accompanying backup story nowhere to be found), “The Trial of Geoffrey St. John” (233; no backup), “Unthinkable” and, in a rare twist, its accompanying backup story “Dark Hearts” from 234.

Book 5 came along, and French readers who are new to this series are probably at least a little curious to find out what became of poor Antoine after the end of the last book. Unfortunately, they’re never going to find out, as book 5 is a plethora of tie-in stories! The comic adaptations for Lost World and Generations are accompanied by the “Olympic Trials” story. The book ends with the readers finally being brought back to the main continuity...a whole eight issues later, with the “Endangered Species” prequel.

Books 6 and 7 collect all four chapters of “Endangered Species”, accompanied by two completely irrelevant pre-Genesis back-up stories. “Hindsight” from 218 (Snively argues with Eggman over the formers relationship with the Iron Queen), and part 1 of “A Friend in Deed” from the Iron Dominion arc (Knuckles confronts a treacherous Espio). The fact that the latter story, which includes the literal cliffhanger with Espio seemingly about to shank Knuckles, is what Delcourt’s Sonic the Hedgehog ends on- right after having just seen Knuckles people banished for all eternity no less- makes for one of the most unintentionally hilarious implications I’ve ever seen.

...

The way in which both publications treated the Genesis saga as the “jumping on” point for their respective translations is a bit more ironic in hindsight, considering the comic would very quickly go on to get its reboot, creating what would have been a much more appropriate jump on for potential international versions, and yet, neither them ever capitalised on it.

Currently, IDW Sonic is already making its own way out to international audiences. Mana Books are doing direct French translations of the graphic novel releases, bringing them out on a much more reasonable basis, and Latin Spanish translations from IDW themselves are coming out this year too.

Here’s hoping IDW gets more success in other languages than Archie did.

 

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I always found it strange how they didn't bother continuing after Worlds Collide with those translations. Logically, you could start things up at Countdown to Chaos Part 4, or possibly even the rescue issue after that, have a brief explanation of what happened in WC, and the Genesis Wave causing a universe wide reboot, put the numbering back to 1, and have a somewhat clean reboot to work with.

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If nothing else, the highs and lows had to deal with the comics overall. 

Both the Pre and Post SGW Archie stories had so much potential, but the whole legal mess or whatever canceled both and with those the long running series. Lost a lot of equally potential new characters. 

The IDW reboot still has some big shoes to fill. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:20 AM, Roger_van_der_weide said:


Pft. yeah, I bet Rise of Lyric and Forces knocked us straight back to "keep making Sonic-only Back to the roots Games" ville.

It would be pretty stupid for them to assume that Buddy or the 10 min Shadow DLC are the reason why Forces was panned

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3 hours ago, Almar said:

I mean, there wasn't really any solid grounds for them to go through the trouble of making OC when they could've just used Tails.

Self-inserts are cool and Tails wouldn't fit that well? This feels like the Knuckles Werehog argument in a different coat of paint.

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It could have just been Tails with a gun but that doesn't mean it should have been. Making it an original character is probably for the best since the gameplay they conceived is nothing like how Tails normally plays anyway.

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Throughout the 10s decade, we noticed how the Sonic series was understandably cautious, and sometimes very amorphous in strange ways, but as a result was really able to get ahead of many obstacles! In particular, they have really set up this current decade to be, as many people here are describing, potentially the second 90s if not better! 

A second trilogy of 2D games seems entirely possible to have happened by the time 2030 rolls around, as well as, the 3D/modern games seem like they are poised to find a new depth when it will matter the most! 

The core gameplay styles of both have really proven themselves to have been ahead of their time, 2D even moreso than 3D but absolutely both! 

What i have learned during the 10s to appreciate about the "boost" gameplay is that it seems to help the creators of the games themselves have a proportional blueprint for what the experience is supposed to be.  I think if being on rails at times meant that the games could be completed to still be intuitive and playful, with reasonably fewer glitches and improving cameras/controls then it is a good design concept!  All of the experience and ogoing knowledge base from designing the boost games may help when broader 3D environments are going to be part of the zones: they will with second nature be able to build more linear, dynamic paths inside of the larger traversable environments!      

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